Selection of Key Documents from Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) Proceedings
Protect Sudbury Initial Brief
“There is simply no way to explain, on the record here, why Eversource would persist with such an ill-advised and controversial choice. Pursuing a significant infrastructure project with such uncertain costs and significant environmental impacts as posed here, given the availability of alternative more balanced options, is not rational and cannot be justified. Protect Sudbury respectfully requests that the EFSB exercise the judgment that Eversource did not, and deny the Petition as filed.”
Protect Sudbury Reply Brief
“The Company has totally disregarded the community in its decision-making process, notwithstanding its recognition that the stakeholder input and feedback are important components of the process. Ev. Init. Br. at 32, 78. In the same way it ignored the ISO-NE process which required a review of the Project, Eversource overlooked the collective, vehement opposition of the host towns, communities and stakeholders to the Project. In short, the Company marginalized the Towns, the community as a whole and concerned stakeholders. This failure to appropriately value community and stakeholder support undermines the Company’s conclusions that “there were clear advantages of constructing the Project underground along the MBTA corridor.” Ev. Init. Br. at 8.
In order to justify its decision to ignore substantive and valid input from stakeholders, Eversource seeks to discredit stakeholder participation. It ignores the extensive discussions held between Protect Sudbury, Sudbury and the Company in opposition to the Project and the overwhelming information presented by the Towns and Protect Sudbury before and during this case regarding the harm that would result from construction and operation of the Project on the MBTA route. Instead, the Company asserts that Protect Sudbury’s discussion relating to the Company’s routing analysis is “completely unbalanced” and reflective “…solely on Protect Sudbury’s point of view and interest [ ].” See Ev. Init. Br. at 86, fn. 61. This mischaracterization reveals that Eversource will ignore meaningful participation by stakeholders if the message or the messenger does not echo its point of view.”
Town of Stow Brief
“Eversource seeks individual zoning exemptions from two provisions of the Stow Zoning Bylaw. The first is Section 3.10 of the Bylaw, Table of Principal Uses, pursuant to which, in the Residential district in which the transmission line would be located, public service corporation use is “[a]llowed in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L., Ch. 40A, Section 3.” Eversource argues that an exemption from this Bylaw is per se required, as use variances are not permitted under the Zoning Bylaw; that is, an exemption by the Department is the only means of obtaining relief. See Eversource Brief at p. 150. The Town of Stow agrees that use variances are unavailable under the Zoning Bylaw, and that Section 3.10 provides for relief to public service corporations from use restrictions under G.L. c. 40A, s. 3. As Section 3.10 of the Bylaw in fact provides for relief under G.L. c. 40A, s. 3, it is not clear that the Eversource requires an exemption from this Bylaw. In any event, the Town of Stow does not disagree with that the three-part test for an exemption is met with respect to this Bylaw. See Petition of NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy pursuant to G.L. c. 40A s. 3 for exemptions from the Bylaws of the Town of Hopkinton, 2015 WL 7574346 (Mass.D.P.U.), discussion at pp. 19-24.
The second individual exemption sought is from Section 188.8.131.52 of the Zoning Bylaw, which regulates and limits noise. Eversource argues that construction activities may exceed the Bylaw limit of 3 dBA above ambient; it seeks an exemption from this Bylaw section in place of a variance “because of the legal uncertainty in obtaining variances, and the potential for adverse interpretations, delay, burden and undue expense associated with the permitting process and appeals therefrom.” See Eversource Brief at pp. at pp. 150-151. While there are no grounds for the Company to conclude that it would be subject to “adverse interpretations, delay, burden and/or undue expense” in connection with any variance proceedings in the Town of Stow, the Town again does not disagree with that the three-part test for an exemption is met with respect to this Bylaw. See Petition of NSTAR, supra. at p. 19-24.”
Eversource Initial Brief Filing
“… the phases and sequence of construction associated with the Project within the MBTA ROW from Sudbury Substation to Wilkins Street in Hudson, in the approximate order of implementation, includes: (1) vegetation removal; (2) implementation of erosion and sedimentation controls; (3) rail removal and access road subgrade construction; (4) construction of duct bank and splice vault system (including rehabilitation of existing railroad bridges); (5) cable pulling and splicing, testing and commissioning; (6) access road final grading, restoration and demobilization; and (7) operation and maintenance. Exh. EV-2, at 5-11. The Company will assign an Eversource construction supervisor to oversee the daily work performed by the contractor.”